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Finnish Air Force

Most Common Finnish Planes

The Finnish Air Force was quite small and had few modern planes. While their pilots performed well in their duties, the equipment the Finns had was not up to their Soviet counterparts.

Fokker D.XXI
This was the most modern fighter the Finns had and even it was starting to show it age when the Winter War began. The top speed of the fighter of over 400 kilometers per hour and was armed with 4 machine guns in 7.62X54R caliber. The performance of these planes in the Winter War was quite good. Finnish ace Ilmari Juutilainen flew such a plane in the Winter War. Juutilainen had by the end of the Continuation War had 94 kills making use of three plane models - The Fokker, the Brewster B-239s and Messerschmitt Me-109G.

Bristol Bulldog (MK IV)
Finland purchased 17 Bulldog IVAs early in 1935 for use in their Air Force. The plane was originally designed for use by the Royal Air Force (Britain) in 1927 as the Bulldog M I. The main version of these type aircraft acquired by Finland was the M IVA and which was equipped with two 7.7mm Vickers machine guns. The top speed of the aircraft was 360 kilometers per hour.

Gloster Gladiator
This was the last biplane designed by the British Royal Air Force and first saw flight in 1934. The Finns bought 30 of these planes in December of 1939 and some of these did take part in the fighting. The performance of the plane was limited in that it was put into the fighting so late that the Soviet planes it faced in most cases outclassed the Gladiator. The planes were armed with four 7.7mm machine guns and had a top speed of 390 kilometers per hour.

Fiat G.50 "Freccia"
This low winged monoplane was produced in Italy and 35 were purchased by the Finns during the Winter War. Most of these planes arrived too late to serve in the War but the few that did make an appearance performed well as 13 Soviet planes were shot down by these new arrivals. The planes had two 12.7mm guns and a top speed of 480 kilometers per hour.

Fiat G.50 "Freccia"
The Finns received a small number of these fighters by the end of the Winter War as aid from France. They had a top speed of 450 kilometers per hour and were armed with three 3 x 7.5 mm machine guns.

Bristol Blenheim Models I,III,IV
These planes were designed in Britain as a civilian aircraft but due to its high speed the British Royal Air Force became interesting in making the craft into a bomber. The resulting plane was a highly successful bomber that saw use in a number of nations. The Finns received three versions of these for use by their Air Force and it was really the only true bomber the Finns had in service. The Model IV featured two 905-hp Bristol Mercury XV radial piston engines and could acceive a speed of 435 kilometers per hour. It was armed with three 7.7mm machine guns and could carry over 1000kg of bombs.